BONDED RESIN FILLINGS (DIRECT)
Bonded resin fillings have been used extensively in dentistry for over thirty-five years. There have been about five generations of resins and bonding agents that have greatly improved these fillings. They have been used successfully on front teeth for nearly all that time, but it has only been the last fifteen to twenty years that they were considered satisfactory for chewing surfaces of back teeth.
Esthetics: Over the years the esthetic qualities of the bonded resins just
Durability: Resins on back teeth are getting more and more durable. A well done resin will usually last for ten or more years under the right conditions. They are generally NOT as durable as bonded silver filings, but the differences closing. Most research indicates that the direct resin fillings last as long or longer than ceramic inlays or indirect resin inlays.
Bonding: For a long time, one advantage bonded resins had was that they did bond chemically to the tooth, thus strengthening the tooth somewhat, whereas silver amalgam fillings just sort of plugged the cavity. They still have that property, but silver amalgams can now be chemically bonded to the tooth structure for a stronger connection. Most other types of fillings and inlays can now be bonded to the tooth as well.
Durability: As I mentioned above, the resins generally don't last as long
Cost: Most dentists charge about 70% to 100% more for bonded resins than for bonded silver. Some insurances don't cover that difference in cost for back teeth.
Allergy: Despite the negative press for silver fillings, there are more reported cases of allergy to bonded resin fillings.
Sensitivity: Bonded resin fillings have a higher incidence of sensitivity than bonded silver. New techniques are reducing the numbers of sensitive teeth following bonded resin fillings.